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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  June 7, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT

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>> this is bbc "world news america." >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the
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crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at >> and now, bbc "world news." jane: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am jane o'brien. under pressure from the president -- in prepared remarks, the former fbi director says donald trump did ask him to drop an investigation. countdown to the british election. the top candidates make their final push to the public ahead of thursday's voting. prime minister may: every vote for me and my team is about to strengthen my hand in the brexit negotiations. jeremy corbyn: we are labour we , are the community, and we will win this election. jane: and rewriting the history of evolution. why a series of new discoveries
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means humans could go back a lot further than we thought. viewers onme to our public television in america and around the globe. former fbi director james comey has dropped another bombshell on the eve of his much-anticipated appearance before congress tomorrow. in a statement, he claims president trump repeatedly asked for his loyalty, and on a separate occasion urged him to let go an investigation into his national security adviser michael flynn, who had been forced to resign. as mr. comey remembers it come -- remembers it, "i had understood the president to be requesting that we drop any investigation of flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the russian ambassador in december." mr. comey goes on to say that he found it "very concerning, given
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the fbi's role as an independent investigative agency." for more on this, i spoke with our north america editor jon pel. the detail in this statement is extraordinary. what are we to make of it? jon: it is absolutely fascinating. it shows a deeply uneasy relationship between 2 men who could not be temperamentally more difficult. if you bear with me, i want to read certain sections of it, because it is utterly gripping and fascinating it affirms that the president was not under investigation directly and was anxious for the fbi to make that clear. donald trump demands loyalty at a dinner they had here at the white house. in james comey's account, he said, "i didn't move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. we just looked at each other in silence." he asked to james comey to drop the investigation into the disgraced national security
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adviser michael flynn. highly unusual for president to do that. the president complained about the cloud that hung over him because of russia he did not ask directly for james comey to stop that particular investigation. jane: a lot of reaction, as you could expect. a democrat from california who is on the house intelligence committee, which is also investigating some of these issues, has this. >> he inappropriately asked for jim comey's loyalty. the president incessantly hounded jim comey to make a case against his friend michael flynn go away and then followed up twice to ask that jim comey lift the cloud that was hanging over his presidency. this crosses all lines in our country. jane: inappropriate or obstruction of justice, i guess that is the big question. jon: that is the huge question that people will be asking. i think on the basis of the document that we have got people , might think the president has behaved in a highly unorthodox way, maybe a wholly
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inappropriate way. but does it meet the threshold for it to be considered an obstruction of justice, one of the high crimes and misdemeanors that could lead to his impeachment? frankly, probably not that said, this investigation is nowhere near over. there are many more questions, particularly over the reason why donald trump sacked james comey. over theck him russia investigation, that that would make the inquiry go away? if that is the case come that is more tricky ground donald trump is standing on. my guess is that tonight the white house is reading this document and thinking, that could have been worse. jane: they still have to hear from james comey tomorrow. jon sopel outside the white house, thank you for joining me. lawmakers were also questioning top security officials about what the president may have said to them about the ongoing
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investigation. 2 of them testified that they never been asked to do anything inappropriate or illegal, but they sparked angry reactions when they refused to discuss private conversations with the president. >> why are you not answering these questions? is there an invocation by the president of the united states of executive privilege? >> not that i am aware of. >> then why are you not answering -- >> i feel it is inappropriate. >> what you feel is not relevant, admiral. what do you feel is not the answer. why are you not answering the questions? is there an invocation of executive privilege? answer the questions. >> i stand by the comments i have made, i am not interested in repeating myself, sir. i don't mean it in a contentious way. >> well, i do mean it in a contentious way and i don't understand why you are not answering our questions. when you were confirmed before the armed services committee, you took an oath. you solemnly swear to give the truth, the whole truth, nothing
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but the truth so help you god. you answered yes to that. >> i also answered that those conversations were classified and it was not appropriate in an open forum to discuss those classified conversations. jane: for more reaction on today's hearings, i spoke with scott taylor, a republican congressman from virginia. congressman, thank you for joining me. we have just seen that senior intelligence officials refusing to tell congress whether or not the president tried to intervene in an ongoing investigation. do you wish they had answered those questions? rep. taylor: i have a little different take on it. i watched it and i watched him specifically say we are not going to talk about confidential conversations with the president, but they said there was nothing unethical, nothing illegal, no obstruction, no pressure to do anything in any way with the investigation. i take them at their word. jane: but how much of a distraction is all of this, and what is the breaking point for you? you say you are not defending the president, but at what point would you say is enough is enough?
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rep. taylor: i am going to say there is a senate intel, house intel, special counsel. if you are in congress and you are sitting here talking about more things need to be investigated, you are not doing your job. let those people do their job, and i will say if there is something that the president for anyone, for that matter, needs to be held accountable for, then hold them accountable. but to try to find what did he say, what did he mean, how did comey or the president take it, this is all bs. there is nothing there. if they find something, hold him accountable. but the line of questioning is a distraction, because the american people and folks around the world, this is just like a soap opera. they want to see things get done. this is why we are here, to get things done. jane: how confident are you with all this going on that you will get through tax reform from -- tax reform, health care reform, and raise the debt ceiling? rep. taylor: well, i'm an optimist.
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all the time i am an optimist. i think we are going to get health care reform. when you have the news going back-and-forth, senators going to be here and there. i'm optimistic we will get a vote in the senate on health care reform before the august recess. i'm also optimistic we will get tax reform. there is consensus on both sides of the aisle and the american public to get that done. americans have paid more taxes in the past couple years that i -- couple of years then in the history of the nation. if you are not doing anything for everyday americans, not doing anything to get that money overseas back here, you are wrong. if you are just talking about russia, you are wrong. you need to get to work and that is why we are here. jane: congressman scott taylor, thank you for joining me. rep. taylor: thank you, jane. jane: president trump also announces his pick to replace james comey as head of the fbi. chris wray is a former justice department official who has been working in private that this.
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-- private practice. myanmar is mounting a search operation for a missing military transport airplane. reports say it was carrying 120 two passengers and crew, most of them soldiers and their families. contact was lost half an hour after takeoff. the japanese nuclear research facility has been exposed to dangerous levels of radioactivity materials. the accident return -- the accident occurred when workers were checking the back. south korea says it will hold off on installing remaining components of a u.s. antimissile defense system until it completes an assessment of the impact on the environment. this could mean delays in the high altitude area defense system in korea. the review could take more than
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a year. thursday is election day in the u.k.. in the past week, the campaign has been dominated by security issues following terror attacks in london and manchester. on this last day of campaigning party leaders have been on the , road trying to emphasize their main policies and messages. our political editor has the story. reporter: she called it to win it, but it is not her choice. a few hackles at 5:30 following in trail like the missteps the past few weeks are jolly photo op's are not her style. not much is jolly about this campaign. at 8:00, jeremy corbyn is enjoying his time in the sun. onh his long-held views
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security, cautious about the idea of changing laws on human rights. >> human rights protect our rights. the way you deal with a threat to democracy is not by reducing democracy. it is by dealing with the threat. reporter: moving his shadow home secretary aside. she is not well and not campaigning. much has been about this campaign that is unusual. may -- it is about two people trust to get the best deal for britain and europe. who has the plan to deliver on brexit. legions of jeremy corbyn fans want something else. they love labour's manifesto that promises more borrowing. >> jeremy corbyn is pulling new
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labor into the idea of it being full on socialism versus conservatism. >> she doesn't care about people like us. for crying out loud. >> our manifesto offers something very different. when they say it is going to cost more money, yes it is. i know that. 95% of the be clear, population will pay no more in tax, no more in insurance, no .ore in thbat reporter: the campaigns look different because the parties
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are. it is not an election where anyone can say politicians are all the same. they have different views on brexit, immigration, the economy, labour would spend more on schools and hospitals. under the tories they would be cut as they tried to balance the books. they have different takes on the country this is and what they wanted to be. a very different leader who are trying to persuade you to let them take us there. campaigns are not a contest of who covers more miles. may in that tory plane. shehe start of this journey seemed unassailable. not anymore. prime minister may: we have set out in our manifesto the challenges we face as a country and how we would deliver on those challenges. how we would ensure we are addressing those challenges. toorter: you didn't have
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call this election and you are asking people to trust you for five years after a campaign where you have said as little as possible. prime minister may: what i've said is to be open with them about the challenges this country faces and the opportunity we have in this country. i think that is absolutely the right thing to do. , theter: the tory host core of the quality of the campaign. >> my vote would be with mrs. may because of her experience. i compare them that one is a lot more qualified in my opinion for the job interview, which is tomorrow. >> to get the country through brexit, which is what we voted for. elections are not straightforward popularity
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contests. not tonight,w, that really matters. elections are decisions. a choice that changes all our lives for years. bbc news, birmingham. jane: a short time ago i spoke with our correspondent in central london. election happened because of brexit. is brexit still the main issue? theresa may said she was looking for a fresh mandate ahead of brexit negotiations. many assumed that brexit would be the dominant issue. debatesve been huge over social care, how much public spending is appropriate, how much taxation is appropriate, and more recently, how the two main parties approach the issue of counterterrorism and security. while these other issues have dominated the campaign, what we
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are going to learn tomorrow is whether underlying all of that, brexit will still be the main driver in deciding how people vote. i should emphasize, both theresa may and jeremy corbyn, the opposition leader, neither of them are trying to reverse brexit. both say this will definitely happen. it is more about what kind of brexit people want. we are only learning wich issues have driven people's decisions when the exit polls come out tomorrow. jane: it is becoming a very tight race. when theresa may declared at the election, she was supposed to be winning by a landslide. does labor have a chance of winning? ross: i don't think many cultures think they have a chance of winning outright, getting a clear majority. the bigger question is can the , conservatives themselves actually return with the majority? a few minutes before i was speaking to you, i was testing my eyes on all the latest polls. some give the conservatives a considerable lead, others a smaller lead, four or five
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points. all of them give the conservatives a lead. but the way the system works in the u.k., we don't do it on straight popular vote. constituency first, and then one of the issues will be, ok, labor has closed the gap, but where has it closed the gap? where has it made gains? are they in the right places to give itself a chance? we will have to wait and see. jane: we will be finding out soon enough. ross atkins in london, thank you. you are watching bbc "world news america." come, a shocking attack on iran's parliament as the islamic state claims responsibility. details, ahead. the united nations says so-called islamic state militants have killed 163 civilians trying to escape fighting i name ozone. they were targeted -- in mosul.
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they were targeted by snipers. a warning, some of the images are distressing. reporter: these are families from west mosul. they saw intense fighting between iraqi forces and the so-called islamic state. targeted us they were by snipers. for civilians to escape is almost impossible. only a few can manage to fully -- to flee. many are caught in the middle of fighting. the civilians who are at greater risk. they came to our neighborhood and threatened us with hand grenades. they said we want to walk among
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you because airplanes won't target you. my daughter is eight months pregnant. i don't know if she is dead or alive. reporter: this woman has no idea where her daughter or family are. nearby, the body of this young growth. somewhere, a mother is missing her child. the horror ofe is losing a loved one and not being able to bury them. mosul.s, west jane: the so-called islamic
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state claimed responsibility for a pair of attacks and iran's capital where 12 for killed. it would be the first time the group has targeted the country. they have said they grieve and pray for the victims but added that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote. it is the middle of the morning and iran's parliament is under attack. some gunmen, dressed as women, burst in armed with grenades and explosive vests. security forces around the complex as those inside, including children, try to escape. incredibly, some mps in the chamber carry on with their business. the group that calls itself the islamic state claims the gunmen are there's.
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this is the first time the sunni jihadists have struck the heart of shiite iran. as the attack progresses, i.s. post video supposedly from inside. one gun man says "hold on" in english, and another in arabic, "we are staying forever." after five hours, the attackers are dead, leaving 11 people are killed and many more injured. and there is more. a second, almost simultaneous attack a few miles away. another suicide bomb at the shrine of the ayatollah khomeini, the founder of the iranian republic. there could be few more symbolic targets. one man is dead and others wounded. iran's power for revolutionary -- powerful revolutionary guards accused saudi arabia and the u.s. of being involved and promised revenge, deepening even further the long-standing tensions between shia iran and sunni arab states. james landale, bbc news.
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jane: the history of humanity might be getting a rewrite. the recent discovery of fossils and north africa indicate homo sapiens emerged earlier than previously thought. that is according to research that has just been published in the journal, "nature." reporter: the face of one of the first of our kind. more casts of bone fragments of the earliest known homo sapiens. the discovery of these fossils was presented in paris. they completely change the theory of how modern humans evolved. >> the common wisdom that there is probably some sort of vision -- some sort of garden of eden in sub-saharan africa 200,000 years ago is familiar to us, emerged rather rapidly. what the work in jebel irhoud
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has shown is that we have to push back in time much further. the age of the origin of our species. reporter: human remains in a ethiopia kenya, and tanzania , suggested that east africa from which the species first emerged 200,000 years ago. but the discovery of 3000 -- 300,000--year-old fossils in morocco suggest they managed to emerge much earlier. and stone tools found across the continent suggest that homo sapiens were all over africa at the time. of the is a skull earliest known human of our species, and this is a modern human. you can see that their faces are practically the same, apart from this slightly pronounced brow ridge. and there is another difference. the earliest humans had slightly smaller brains. scans of the skull published in the journal "nature" suggests
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that our brains and other features evolved gradually over hundreds of thousands of years, rather than our species emerging rapidly as the finished article. >> it took longer to make homo sapiens, in genetic terms come -- genetic terms in behavioral , terms, then we would of thought. and probably the process was complex. different parts of africa were involved. at times parts of morocco were involved, and other times south africa and east africa. there is no single place for homo sapiens became us. reporter: the search is on for more fossils of our species in other parts of africa that may be even older. the history of humanity has been rewritten. pallab ghosh bbc news, paris. a quick update on the main story. a lawyer representing mr. trump issued a statement saying, "mr. trump feels vindicated by this
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statement issued by james comey, the former fbi director that will be testifying before congress tomorrow." we will have full coverage of that on the day. thank you for watching. see you tomorrow. >> make sense of international news at >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the
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island with warm sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at >> bbc world news was presented by kcet los angeles.
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: james comey breaks his silence. the former f.b.i. director, in a statement to the senate, details how president trump asked for his personal loyalty, asked to drop the investigation into michael flynn, and called russia a "cloud" hanging over the presidency. then, the pressure is on. top u.s. intelligence officials remain tight-lipped in a high- stakes congressional hearing about whether the president has tried to influence them. >> you could clear an awful lot up by simply saying "it never happened." >> i don't share-- i do not share with the general public, conversations that i have with the president. >> woodruff: also ahead, a twist